1. Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime. Alcohol can help you fall asleep faster but too much close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night as the body begins to process the alcohol.
2. Exercise. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can drastically improve Most people should avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime but the effect differs from person to person, so find out what works best for you.
3. Avoid some foods close to bedtime. Heavy or rich foods, fatty or fried meals, spicy dishes, citrus fruits, and carbonated drinks can trigger indigestion and lead to painful heartburn that disrupts sleep.
4. Get adequate exposure to natural light during the day.
5. Spend an appropriate amount of time asleep in bed–not too little or too excessive.
6. Don’t stay in bed awake for more than 5-10 minutes. If you find your mind racing, or worrying about not being able to sleep during the middle of the night, get out of bed, and sit in a chair in the dark. No TV or internet–These will stimulate your brain.
7. Maintain a regular sleep routine. Ideally, stick to the same schedule of bedtime and waking time (+/- 20 minutes) every night of the week. Create a pre–bedtime routine—put down screens an hour before bed, take a warm bath or shower, play relaxing music or meditate
8. Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes. Napping does not make up for poor nighttime sleep but a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.
9. Have a quiet, comfortable bedroom
- Set your bedroom thermostat at a comfortable temperature. Most people sleep best in a cooler room
- Background ‘white noise’ like a fan is OK but extraneous noises like TV tend to disturb sleep for most
- If your pets awaken you, keep them outside the bedroom (if they let you)
- Turn off bright lights and close the blinds. Most people sleep best in the dark
- Have a comfortable mattress and pillows.
10. Don’t watch TV or read in bed.
- The brain associates these activities with wakefulness
- Reserve bed for sleep and sex.